I didn't see a topic posted on this subject, and couldn't find any information on the CNN website about it, so I thought I'd pass this information along to anybody interested.....
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Two U.S. air force jet fighters escorted Air Canada's flight bound for Toronto back to the Los Angeles airport after a passenger allegedly uttered an anti-American threat yesterday.
Passengers from the diverted flight arrived in Toronto around 7 a.m. this morning.
The man became verbally abusive yesterday after he was caught smoking in the bathroom aboard Air Canada Flight 792, said airline spokeswoman Nicole Couture-Simard.
Authorities refused to describe the threat.
The confrontation was resolved without further incident, but the pilot chose to return the plane to Los Angeles International Airport as a precautionary measure, she said. Two F-16s escorted the plane back to the airport.
The passenger, identified as Javid Naghani, was taken into custody by federal agents but was not immediately charged with a crime.
Naghani, an Iranian national who is a U.S. resident, was to appear before a federal magistrate today.
Another man was questioned as a material witness, said Nancy Castles, an airport spokeswoman.
Naghani's wife, Rosa Hinojos, who was on the flight, told The Associated Press that she did not see her husband smoking on the plane.
''I was handcuffed all over like I am a terrorist,'' said Hinojos, who was released after being questioned by authorities. ''This is not the way to treat residents. This is the United States. My husband and I are not terrorists.''
Hinojos said they were travelling to Toronto to visit relatives.
The F-16s that escorted the plane were likely responding to a Federal Aviation Administration request after the Air Canada pilot notified the FAA, said Castles.
The incident occurred as Gov. Gray Davis was travelling to an airport press conference on a shuttle bus.
''We were about five minutes out of Lot C when those two jets buzzed the airport, so we knew something was up,'' said Davis, who announced a call-up of National Guard troops to bolster security, then took a flight to San Francisco to demonstrate confidence in air travel.
Tom Adams, one of 138 passengers and seven crew members on the flight, told ABC News the man quickly began causing a disturbance.
''The incident didn't really occur until after we took off, when he supposedly was smoking in the back and then said some derogatory comments about Americans,'' Adams said.
Bruce Fitzgerald, another passenger aboard the grounded flight, told ABC News: ''When we landed that's when things got a little surreal, maybe because all of a sudden the plane was surrounded by police cars and emergency vehicles and the swat team came on the plane. That was a little disconcerting, that's for sure,'' Fitzgerald said.